Wednesday, December 30, 2009

oh.nine.

oh.nine. you were mighty fine. last year, right about now, you were full of wonder and excitement. right now you are full of memories. for now, here's my thankful list from this wondrous, exciting, memory filled year.

i'm thankful for...
...january 30 2009. you will always be the day that held a surprise, that changed my life.
...snow. although it's cold, it really is beautiful.
...-4* weather to walk through drake park and take pictures in.
...february 7th. the day jenna left to live a dream i got to pray into. rad.
...learning about love on so many levels.
...mexico. you will always tear me apart. in so many ways.
...day trips to portland. fantastic girl time at Forever21.
...photog genius surrounding my life. Alycia White. Benjamin Edwards. Gary&Courtney. AbiQ. Jasmine Star. You all inspire me to pursue my dreams.
...preaching. this is what i was created to do.
...road trips to Seattle and beyond. Oh Pike Place, always save me some french bread love.
...february 21. i moved in with 3(+baby) people i barely knew and now call family. Mike, Allie, Sienna and Brie my heart is forever thankful for each of you in my life. seriously i am blessed beyond words.
...email. it connects me to places unseen by my eyes.
...ali roberts. small. powerful. mighty.
...wintercamp09. changed my life.
...april 12. the easter that changed my perspective on eternity on my doorstep.
...healing that is undeniably God.
...april 21. celebrating 2 years in Bend Oregon.
...living out dreams.
...Beth Fischer. Seriously. NO WORDS could describe the thankful spot in my heart for you.
...Mission-Minded quotes. oh Ann Dunagan, you feed my mission driven heart!
...i heart sisters.
...the sound that gmail chat makes when you receive an instant message, it gave me 2,000 heart attacks, a million goose bumps and stopped the waiting. i will always recognize it.
...the hike up Dog Mountain that taught me to preserver.
...truth reviled. although painful, healing will come. J,S & R, i love you with all my heart and wish i could have saved you each from the pain of a world so far away, and lost in sin.
...family. for the first time in 2 years we were all together this summer. thanks Jesus, that was great.
...road trips to California. too much fun to list.
...wake boarding. Eric & Lindsey, please come back to teach me more tricks this summer!
...Lopez Island. Mama, i know you think i hate it, but i don't.
...Pastor Cliff Tadema. Thanks for believing in my Papa. My heart has never been more proud.
...13 questions that i never saw the answers to, but know they changed a life.
...lunch on wednesdays. it's always cheap food, but BRILLIANT conversation. Stephenie Madsen i blame you for my deep affection for wednesdays, but wouldn't have it any other way.
...Jesse & Taylor. WOW! need i say more?
...Twitter. seriously who told me this was a good idea?!?!
...July 26th. Jeremiah. way to take a risk.
...perspective. it changes things.
...real grace. thank you, thank you Lord we praise you. You ARE GOOD. Jordan, the words that you penned, but i'm sure were stolen from my heart.
...skype. CarissaLynn i believe Jesus invented skype for us.
...fuel for my dreams. Katie Davis. Bianca Juarez. Shilo Taylor. real life heroes.
...P.B.&J. Lashae Brewer. You, sister, inspire me.
...september 21 septemeber 28, october 10, october 19, november 21, november 22 -wonderful yet painful. i wouldn't trade you for the world on a string.
...hope that never dies or runs out.
...surprises 7 years later. i can plan my life, but only God knows how it will unfold and pop out to surprise me. i love it that way.
...my 180 lifegroup girls. i love you all.
...Seven. you will always and forever have a very special place in my heart. i love you.
...seasons. they change. they add flavor.
...my parents. they will live in a Mansion in heaven, i'm sure of it.
...Silverline Music. not my favorite band, not my favorite style of music, but i respect these 5 men of God who walk in the anointing God has placed on them, even if they play mean jokes on me :)
...my Nikon D70. Keep clicking away ole'buddy, you serve me well.
...Phil Gammel. You saved my imac. for this i am eternally grateful. I have your Christmas present waiting for you.
...Westside church. You are only a building, but you contain a vision that challenges me to run well.
...losing control. it's a brilliant miracle that we need to embrace.
...podcasting messages from around the world. food to my soul. yummers.
...my Jesus who never turns away from me. Thanks friend. We had a good year. You kept me sane in the silence and lonely times. You held my hand and held me back. You saved me over and over.
...my Abba in Heaven. You love me and i move your heart. this will always amaze me. Thanks for speaking to me in so many ways. thanks for guarding me. Let's keep talking in 2010.
...my counselor, The Holy Spirit, thanks for the Power to walk in the ways of the righteous. without you i am lost. Thanks for the intimacy i long for. Thanks for the whispers and peace. Thanks for taking my secrets to the throne. Thanks for bridging the gap between the seen and unseen. thanks for the signs of who You are.

this is what i can think of at midnight. i am thankful for so much. i'm sure i missed somethings, but seriously. i am so thankful for this last year. it was truly full of wonder and when i said "bring it on" last year on my blog... i had NO IDEA what i was getting into. but so thankful i did.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

my least favorite 4 letter word.

"On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.""

Acts 1:4-5

w-a-i-t.

waiting; stinks. is a bummer. is not fun.

i waited to take my turn on the little red bike. This is the thing about sharing bikes. You must wait.

i waited on the couch for the arrival of 2 little bundles papa & mama were bringing home. this is the thing about babies, they take awhile to get here and you must wait.

i waited for my birthday. this is the thing about birthdays, they only come once a year. You must wait.

i waited for track season to come. Winter had to come before spring, and so you must wait.

i waited for the plane to land in the place i only saw in my dreams. India is far away and so you must wait for the plane to land.

i was told a promise, without a date of delivery on it, but a promise non the less. it's out there and i must wait.

i waited for the secret to become a reality. it did, but i had to wait as to not spoil the surprise.

i waited for the phone call. it never came, but a few days later an email came in it's place.

tic-tic-tic-tic. the sound of the clock was never comforting in the waiting, it just proved that i was. waiting. the crossing off days on the calendar only furthered the proof that i was waiting. a certain "bleep" noise often gave me a heart attack and was proof that, for at least a moment, the waiting was over. sometimes waiting is an obvious state of being. sometimes it's kind of sneaky. sometimes when you are waiting you hold your breath. sometimes when you are waiting you skip through daisies.

i had been waiting for a certain something so long, i waited subconsciously. The waiting. it's there, but you aren't always conscious of the effect it has on your life. Eventually the waiting ended, or so i thought it did. But it really didn't. And then it really did. This is when i realized i had been so caught up in my subconscious waiting i forgot to actually breath.

after nearly a year of waiting i got a answer, not the one i wanted or expected or had spent many nights hoping for, but the complete opposite.

2 weeks and 3 days later i heard something. it shocked me in my seat and sent my mind whirling: "you've been waiting for the wrong thing. The waiting you were doing wasn't wasted or wrong, but your focus in the waiting could have been better directed.Wait. for. the Holy. Spirit. Wait."

i wasn't distracted waiting for the wrong thing. i just could have waited better.

i hate waiting. hate. yes it's strong word, but it's the truth. i am getting good at it, but that doesn't make me love it....it just means i can do it.

a new normal has taken over my life in the last 19 days. i'm still waiting, but instead of waiting to hear the "bleep" that gives me a heart attack, i am waiting to hear a voice. a still. small. voice. a kind voice. a voice that doesn't condemn me, but builds me up. i am waiting on the Holy Spirit.

And when i have waited long enough i know that the waiting will turn into holding the promise. the promise with an un-known delivery date. the promise that won't delay. the promise that only the Holy Spirit knows the tracking number to.

but for now i am learning more and more to embrace this little 4 letter word.

and so.

i wait.

Friday, December 04, 2009

the art of surrender. part2.

Surrender (sur⋅ren⋅der) –verb: to give oneself up, as into the power of another; submit or yield.

i like to think of myself as an artist of sorts. i can paint pictures in my head much better than i can on a canvas. i can capture moments in time with the push of a button and the right lighting. i can attempt to convey an image with words.

i also like to think of myself as a closet perfectionist. i love it when things are symmetrical and balanced. i like the dumbers 6, 10, 22 and 150 because they divide in half perfectly. i like my socks to match, and not only each other, but what i am wearing. i like my bed to be made everyday. i like my books in order and my nails painted, not chipped. and although i like all those things that way, i am not anal about them being that way. My bed is not currently made, i have more books in boxes than on my shelf in order. just re-painted my nails, and they are already chipping.

surrender. it's a tough word. it's not a word that makes me want to jump up and down and do the happy dance. it's not easy or fun. Every time i think i have surrendered something God, i find out i can surrender it more. Many times i go to the alter. i fall on my face. i give up my life to the will of God, and yet 24 minutes later i am trying to pick it all back up and figure it out. this is why i say surrender is an art.

i have been learning to yield my desires to the perfect will of God. To give up what i think is best in exchange for the un-known is a scary place to be. To be headed one direction and all of a sudden find the road ended with no warning or sign of continuing is terrifying. Relinquishing my control to the Power of someone i can't see is hard to do. this is why i say surrender is an art.

not very many artist wake up at age 2 and can paint 'a starry night' (van gogh). It takes time and practice. it takes messy up a few (hundred) canvases to get it right. it takes throwing the brush down and walking away. it takes the understanding that it may take years before you get it right. not every artist will be known like van gogh. Not every painting will be sold for the value the painter put into it. learning all these things builds the artist up. makes them a stronger artist and person.

surrender makes me stronger. it builds me up. it may take me a few hundred times to get it right. it may take me throwing my hands up and walking away. it may take years to understand the
reasons behind the surrender. it's not easy or fun... yet somehow in surrender there is Joy. real. lasting. Joy. that doesn't come from a free coffee, nice smile or splendid weather. It's unshakable by our circumstances, it lasts beyond this moment, it lifts you up and holds your head high when situations want to get the best of you. this is why i say surrender is an art.

i think this joy comes from the deep set knowledge that The One i am surrendered to holds the keys to life and death. I am surrendering my desires for His un-imaginable plan. I am surrendering my hope for a Hope that never ends. I am surrendering my future to Someone who holds eternity in the palm of his hand. this is why i say surrender is an art.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

the art of surrender.

here i sit in the messy studio called life. On the wall to my left there is nothing but a huge canvas. It's framed beautifully, but the painting is not complete. The edges are all there and the paint is creeping into the middle, only part of the picture is clear, as if the artist doesn't know how to fill in the blank spots. The once white sheets that cover the hard wood floor are matted and covered in all shades of emotions. Red. Blue. Purple. Green. Yellow. The stool i sit on is strong from the foundation i came from and soft from the love i have been growing in. The water that cleans the paint brushes is made mostly from tears i have collected. Half painted canvases lay about the room. They are dreams that have yet to be framed by the years of a life lived long. the tin and rusting garbage can is full of crumpled sketches that never made it from the notebook pages to a canvas. They are the dreams that were born from silly places, mad places and places only meant to grow a creative imagination. Behind me is a window. Sun light pours in from the cold outdoors and warms my back. I can hear the wind rushing through the juniper trees. The door is open a bit and i can hear the music of other lives pouring in as if to encourage me to keep painting. My tshirt is stained from sweat and paint. I think the left sleeves has a mascara stain that will never come out. The jeans i wear are ripped at the knees and hem, those are the perks of being short and spending time on my knees. I like to paint barefoot. My toenails are pink. My hair is a beautiful dark mess of curls and braids. My face is striped in different shades of pale by the tear streaks in my foundation. My blue eyes stare wildly at the mostly white canvas on the easel in front of me. Searching for the brush i need, my hands shake and knock something off the table that rolls across the floor. I think it was a bouncy ball. As i look back at the canvas the confusion of what i am working on stares back at me. There is vision in my head. There is something i am trying to convey in this piece, yet it doesn't seem to be making sense. The colors are blending weird and the moments are passing drying them in places i didn't expect them to stay. It looks differently than what i had originally thought i was painting. It's beautiful, but not what i thought it would be. I hear my Teacher behind me...somewhere beyond the window, encouraging me to keep painting. Telling me that it's OK, and that this happens to all His students. I dip the brush into my favorite color. Purple. Music. As i bring the brush to the canvas i can feel my hand shaking and the tears coming. Listening to the Instructor i let the wet paint brush glide across the stiff canvas just as i am told, not because i understand, but because i trust my Teacher.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

get faithful friends.

In 24 years i have had my fair share of friends. Best friends. Facebook friends. Camp friends. Long-distance friends. School friends. Twitter followers/friends. Choir friends. Work friends. Myspace friends. Car friends. Long time friends. Short term friends. Deep friends. Pen-pal friends. Shallow friends. Sports friends.

the ones that have impacted my life and i hold closest to my heart have one thing in common: they are faithful friends.

faithful friends are hard to find, but once they are there they most likely will not be going anywhere soon. this is part of the brilliance of faithful friends.

need a shoulder to cry on because your mom is too far away? get faithful friends.

want someone to txt until midnight just because your room is too quiet? get faithful friends.

need the truth spoken in love but your dad won't answer his phone? get faithful friends.

want to look at someone and know that they know your thoughts? get faithful friends.

need a place to sleep because your room is lonely? get faithful friends.

want to wake up at 3 am but need a good reason to? get faithful friends.

need to know you can "ugly" cry without worry of silly looks? get faithful friends.

want to look forward and see something constant in your life? get faithful friends.

this is Jesse and Taylor. J and T. Jesse and Tay. Pastor Jesse and T.T.

these are my faithful friends. My thankful list for them is longer than Santa's shopping list.

I remember the first time i met each of them. I remember lots of random encounters with them. Good Friday 2008. I remember watching from a distance as they fell in love. I remember sipping chai with Tay as she told the story of Jesse's proposal. I remember talking wedding plans. I remember Jan. 30 2009 so clearly.... but mostly i remember God's hand in it all. It's all HIS fault. He set us up, and we fell for it...I could never have guessed upon meeting either of them that just a few short years later our lives would be where they are now.

fun.
laughter.
breakfast.
family outings.
pain.
fajitas.
swings.
trials.
coffee dates.
prayer txting.
weddings.
tears.
hopes.
biggest loser.
ferry rides.
michael buble.
late night adventures.
safeway.
wishes.
floating the river.
road trips.
coupons.
hospital visits.
cup cakes in a mug.
prayers.
dreams.

They have been the essence of faithful. The sacrifices they have made to let me be apart of their life blow my mind. The way they love me as if i was family is astounding. The prayers they have prayed on my behalf have blessed my heart beyond words. The belief they have in the call of God on my life is humbling. The way they show selfless love towards each other is an example i have yet to see matched (other than by my parents).

Jesse, thanks for sharing your amazing wife with me. I'm so grateful. I'm sure you didn't think the first year of marriage would look anything like it has... much less that your wife would have a twin/shadow. Thank you for going to Seattle so we could have a girls weekend. Thank you for letting her rub my back and wipe my tears as i fall asleep. Thanks for sharing the incredible gift God gave you in Tay. I'm blessed that you would share her with me so freely and graciously.

Tay. There really are no words. Between the 2 of us in the last few months i am pretty sure there is nothing we have not faced. The giggles. The tears. The pain (physical & emotional). The joys. The silliness. I never thought i would get another sister, but God had a surprise for me hidden away in Bend via McMinnville and Bend again. I am so blessed. I love that we finish each others sentences and thoughts. I love that we laugh at the same things. I love that we order chai exactly the same way. i love that both our dad's are pastors. I love that we both LOVE michael buble and may or may not take pictures of the TV when he is on. I love that we can sit in silence and be completely ok with it. I love that when words are not enough you just are. i love that we can eat a whole bag of puppy chow together. i love that we have had a consistent txting conversation for about 8 months. I love that my days end with a goodnight from you and start with a good morning. I love that we can talk about the deepest things 1 minute and in an instant can be laughing so hard we are crying. I love that we wear the same size. Thank you for everything you have been to me this year. Thanks for being my mom when i needed it. Thanks for being my Best Friend. Thanks for being a sister in Bend. Thanks for being YOU. Thanks for being honest. Thanks for believing in my dreams. Thanks for wanting the BEST for me. Thanks for sharing your kitchen with me. This blog post could not contain the reasons i am blessed by you. Even in the last 7 days, as life has taken another twist or 2, you have been faithful and wonderful to me through it all. i am so blessed. my heart is overwhelmed with thanksgiving and all i wish is that i was better at showing it.

dear Jesus, thank you for J and T. thanks for incredibly fun times. thanks for the faithfulness of friends that only you can give. Jesus, bless them YOUR BEST... Open doors they never dreamed possible. Take them to places they never imagined. Bring encouragement at the perfect moments. Shower down wisdom where it's needed. Drop surprises at the perfect times. Set them up with people who enhance the dreams and calling you have placed on their lives. Set your kingdom before them as a prize to reach for. Enlarge the ministry you have called them to. Deepen the deep places. Open the windows of heaven and let your presence envelope them. Keep all kinds of evil away from their house. Cover them with your protection. Provide for all their needs and some of the wants too. Show your faithfulness evident in their marriage and life. Mostly, will you somehow show the thanks and gratefulness that my heart and hands can't type into a blog post. Amen.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

this is where i am.

this is where i am.
lost.
confused.
found.
focused.
safe.
grateful.
sad.
un-sure.
full of faith.

this is where i may be for a little while, but knowing it will pass is a heart warming thought.

"So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him."But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
Hebrews 10:35-11:1

thanks for your grace as i walk out this season. it feels like a horrible ending, but i know it's just the beginning of somethings beautiful and brilliant.

Monday, November 09, 2009

get RAD parents.

ok, so i did my "Get 7 brothers" and "Get 5 sisters" posts... i was going to title this one, "get parents", but for some reason it didn't seem to work...

need anything? get RAD parents they will at least do what they can to make sure you get it.

want to know how to make good food? get RAD parents, they teach these types of things.

need advise from a million miles away? get RAD parents, they gladly will offer.

want to drink chocolate milk, just for fun? get RAD parents.

need a shoulder to cry on? get RAD parents they own lots of tear stained t-shirts.

want to laugh until you cry? get RAD parents they are funny folks.

My parents are stinking AMAZING! I don't even know how i got so blessed with them! I am probably one of the luckiest girls in the world.Papa and Mam'moo have been married for 27 years and get cuter and cuter all the time!

My Papa loves my Mama and they have been amazing examples of self-less living. I don't even know how they have been able to do all the things they have done. The only explanation of who they are is the POWER of God working in them and through them. They don't waver in the sight of adversity, they don't bend at the change of popular culture. They stand. They look UP for direction. They blow my mind with the strength they have exhibited through the thick and thin of life.

Cancer. Tumors. Surgeries. Death. Sickness. War. Pain.

things that make most people shutter have only brought strength to my parents. Not easy, but who says working out is a piece of cake? They have muscles, because of the fight they have fought.

they fight for their marriage.
they fight for their kids.
they fight for truth.
they fight.


dear Jesus, thank you for my parents. thanks for silly times. thanks for the love that nothing can take away. Jesus, please bless my parents with YOUR BEST... Open doors they never dreamed possible. Make straight the crooked and crazy paths. Bring encouragement into the dark place. Drop confetti on the bright places. Bring wisdom in chaos. Break off anything that hinders what you have for them. Set your kingdom before them as a prize to reach for. Enlarge the ministry you have called them to. Grow the weaker areas. Deepen the deep places. Give them new dreams, more desires, let the Holy Spirit inspire creative thoughts and ideas. Most of all give them everything i failed to as a daughter. Give them grace. love. provision. Amen.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

the pressure of growth.

i feel like i need a t-shirt that says: Warning! Contents under pressure. Much Grace needed.

i'm in a microwave of spiritual growth right now, and it's way intense.

the pressure of loving deeply.
to love at all is to risk. to love beyond what you thought possible is to forgive. to love beyond forgiveness is to lose control. In the last 5 months i have learned to love deeply. Someone i love hurt others and hurt me in the process. i learned to forgive them through a process of choosing love not hate. beyond that i learned to love them so deeply that i realized last week i was willing to do anything to control that love. i loved to the point of tears. i loved to the point of breaking. i loved deeply. when it came to let the risk of that love go i realized how deep it was. i won't stop loving this person, but i won't be able to control how that love is shown, accepted or received. all i can do is continue to love. in the pressure of learning to love deeply my heart was wrung and possibly broken. however, somehow in that broken, hurt place i realized that i can't stop loving the "un-lovable". i can't control how that love is taken. i can't lock my heart up because of hurt. i can love again. i can love more deeply. i can love beyond what i thought was possible or reasonable.

the pressure of trusting deeply.
i could put a "..." from my loving deeply to trusting deeply, because they go hand in hand. to love deeply is to trust deeply. to trust deeply is to believe that beyond your control of the situation is a God who is 100% faithful. He always comes through. ALWAYS. in the last week i have had to figure out how to take that from my head and heart and into my hands, feet & speech. i have to trust with my life. i have to trust that letting go of what i thought i could control is the best thing i can do. i have to trust that in letting go, flight will come, healing will come and LIFE will come. Not because it "just happens" but because the faithfulness of God is undeniable. do i really trust who God says he is?

the pressure of deep faith.
i am tired of the word faith. i'm over it. i'm over the Christian lingo. i'm over people telling me to "stir up my faith". Not because i don't have faith, but because we have lost sight of what faith really is. "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Heb. 11:1) Certain of what we DO NOT SEE. i can't see where the money will come from. i can't see how the healing will come. i can't see the buyer for a house. i can't see the promise. Certain of these things? Not because i have some secret knowledge of how they will happen or that they are a guarantee, but because i have FAITH in a God who hasn't failed me yet. we (the church) are really good at talking about faith, however i see us worrying and complaining a lot more than we are actually living the faith we claim to have.

so please excuse me if i've been emotional. please forgive me if i have offended you. please don't think i don't like you if i didn't smile or say hello. i'm in a microwave. i'm being stretched like a balloon already full of air, with someone still blowing. the pressure is intense. i don't have all the answers. i don't even understand this growth, i just can feel it happening.

yesterday i cried "Jenna tears" or "pretty tears". the kind that come from somewhere else and gently slide down your cheeks and onto the table. the kind where, somehow you know your face is not looking all crooked and weird, but soft and beautiful. it was in that moment that the pain of what i had been feeling collided with the light and i saw the growth that had been happening. it was rich and beautiful. i didn't even care who saw the tears. somehow i knew it was going to be ok.

so please excuse me if i've been bold and crazy. please forgive me if i screened my calls. please don't take my silence as pride. i'm in a greenhouse and it's sticky in here.

i'm sorry if this post is vague and cryptic. i can't explain the details behind the deep love. i can't explain the pain behind the deep trust. but if you see me and my eyes are bluer. if my passion seems quiet. if my hair is wild and un-tamed. it has nothing to do with bad things. it's the pressure of growth coming to the surface. my one request is that you please give grace to this growth.

Friday, October 30, 2009

get 5 sisters.

can't find the right shoes to wear with that one outfit? get 5 sisters. One of them is bound to wear the same size.
need someone to giggle with during the wee-hours of the morning? get 5 sisters. They are perfect for this kind of thing.can't decide if you want to cut your hair or keep it long? get 5 sisters. One of them might look like you and have the opposite of what you do.... look at a picture of them to decide.
want to skype date just because your room is too quiet and you need someone to hear you think while you edit 900 pictures? get 5 sisters. they are perfect for these occasions.
need to tell someone how good-looking that guy is but your friends are sick of hearing about him? get 5 sisters. most likely they want to tell you the same sort of thing.
God knew i would be somewhat of a girly-girl, so he gave me 5 sisters to share in the FUN!
God knew i would need someone's shoulder to cry on when words didn't meet a need, so he gave me 5 sisters knowing at all times at least 1 shoulder would be free.
God knew i couldn't handle 7 brothers all alone, so he gave me 5 sisters to tickle, tackle and race those brothers with.

sister #1 {Carissa Lynn age 20)She was born with the most insane hair ever! Beautiful BLACK straight hair that covered her whole little head and stood straight up all the time!!! It was easier to tell those little twins apart because of that wonderful hair. Carissa was my first sister and ray of sunshine being that i was stuck between two crazy boys! She was great for any sisterly activities growing up. She loved everything i did... which was great until i was 12 and wanted to not having little clones. By the time i was 16 i got over it and realized that no matter how many 'friends' stabbed me in the back or were mean, Carissa would always be there and it would work out lots better for both of us if i didn't mind if she wanted to be like me. I'm honored to have this one in my life. She is one of my real-life-living heroes. Carissa speaks Spanish, dreams Spanish, eats Spanish and lives Spanish in Argentina! Someday she will come visit me in Africa... but first i have to get there...
**Secret about Carissa: her "wing-span" (finger tip to finger tip) is longer than she is tall!**

sister #2 {Lindsey Marie age 20}7 minutes after sister #1 i got sister #2!!!! I seriously must be the luckiest girl ever, you see i already had 2 brothers and am pretty sure i would have been totally happy with 1 little sister, but instead of 1 i got 2 in one day!!! Lindsey also had GREAT hair when she was born, black straight hair that lay perfectly in place on her perfectly round head! The problem Lindsey had when she was little was being twin #2, see not only was she twin #2, but D kiddo #5! This is a big place to fill in the family.... she was the caboose for a year and a half and it wasn't all that grand! Lindsey is my little musical sister, when we were little she was on a dance team, took piano lessons, sang all the time and as she grew up learned guitar and kept music within reach at all times. Lindsey is also my only sibling that has been to a country that will always have rights to a top 5 favorites ever spot in my heart, INDIA! Don't tell her, but i am actually quite jealous that she got to see more of the country than i did. Lindsey is full of passion for life and Christ. I'm excited to see what God's BEST is for Lindsey!!!
**secret about Lindsey: she had the first broken bone in our family**

sister #3 {Hosanna Joy age 13}Literally a dream come true is Hosanna. I was 10 years old and as i did a lot of mornings growing up i went into Mama's bathroom to watch her "get ready" for the day. As i sat on the toilet and she did her makeup i told her about the dream i had the night before; In the dream i got a new little sibling more specifically a little sister!!! Unbeknown to my little 10 year old mind, my parents were not "planning" on another little D coming anytime soon. However not too long later we were sorting socks as a family and my dad asked me if i remembered the dream i had... this was the creative way to tell us kids that Baby #8 was on it's way! I started jumping around and being all excited before any of my siblings could catch up with the fact that i had a dream. For a LONG 9 months i had to wait to make sure the second part of my dream came true. it did. Enter our first blond sister! Hosanna and i shared a room for 7 years+ (-6months) + 2 years. We are super close. I'm not sure who is more like who. Hosanna clapped on beat at 11 months. Started singing before she could talk, and started playing piano when her fingers couldn't stretch a 5th across the keys. Hosanna has the most beautiful heart. She serves people without question or expectant to be rewarded. She was my little ministry side-kick and shadow for 2 years. There are not many 13 year olds who willingly listen to Podcast sermons; Hosanna is one of them. There are not many girls who have been the youngest girl who take to being a big sister to 2 little sisters... she has done it like a pro. **Secret about Hosanna: she has the greatest giggle ever.**

sister #4 {Sarah Katherine age 10}Just when i thought i wasn't going to have anymore sisters, Sarah's face showed up in an email and my heart melted. I like to tell Sarah that she looks just like me, but she doesn't believe me... i don't know what mirror she looks in everyday, but i see the resemblance perfectly. Sarah is an artist. 5 months after she came home from Africa she won a top prize at the Northwest Washington Fair for a painting she entered! Sarah is a thinker. She likes to ponder new information and has a never ending list of questions. Sarah likes to go swimming and play outside. You would never guess it at first meeting Sarah, but she is a little joker... she picks up on my dad's silly jokes really quickly and instantly her little laugh comes out with a big "nu-uh Dad"! **Secret about Sarah: she keeps things very organized.**

sister #5 {Rachel Rose age 8}the new caboose to our girly side of things! Rachel is quirky and silly. Spunky and wild. Quiet and sensitive. Rachel has the greatest little giggle, however for the first little while when she came home we didn't know if she laughed at all.... it was stuck inside somewhere, but when it came out i think we were all so shocked and blessed we all started laughing! Rachel's laugh is something you have to experience. It's for sure not fake. Being that Rach is the youngest girl she has somehow already figured out how to keep up with all her big brothers and sisters. She runs the mile only a few seconds behind Elijah and also does it with a smile! Last year when i was home for Christmas i played a mean joke on Rachel and threw her (literally) into a huge snow drift... in her pajamas and socks! She was shocked by the cold, recovered quickly, put her snow clothes on and asked me to do it again! Rachel's eyes carry secrets of 6 years i will never understand or be able to see. Rachel's heart carry's the potential to change the world, and i believe she will. **secret about Rachel: she would rather sleep on top of her blankets so to not mess up her perfectly made bed.**

get 5 sisters. you'll never regret it.

dear Jesus, thank you for my sisters. thanks for silly girly times. thanks for hair to braid, dresses to share, secrets to keep and dreams to share. thanks for the love that nothing can take away. thanks for the secret, invisible, incredible bond we all have. Jesus, please bless my sisters with YOUR BEST... when they are tempted to settle for good and pleasing, remind them that your BEST is just outside their view and it's worth it. please keep all creepy guys far away or i might sin in kicking/scaring them FAR away! Bless each of them with a man who fears you before me and my dad. A man who's #1 goal is to honor you with his life. Show each of my sisters the glorious things you want them to do. Set your kingdom before them as a prize to reach for. Most of all give them everything i failed to as a big sister. Give them grace. love. protection. Amen.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

get 7 brothers.

great strategy for keeping creepy guys away? get 7 brothers. it scares them right down to the bone.

need to understand football to impress a great guy? get 7 brothers. they know all about football.

need to learn how to put someone in a head-lock should they attack you? get 7 brothers. they are good at teaching such things.

want to understand why guys say some of the things they say? get 7 brothers. sometimes they shed light on such subjects.

want to know if you look good for a date but not "too good"? get 7 brothers. they GLADLY tell you these things!

need a reason to wear a jersey and eat too much popcorn at baseball games? get 7 brothers. tell them it's for THEIR birthday and they won't even know it's your secret desire!

i have 7 brothers.
i wouldn't trade one of them for anything in the world.
Jesus knew i was going to be a handful, so he gave me 7 brothers to keep me in line!

{brother #1.} Gregg. 25 years old.He's the only one older than me! my first "big" brother. He likes having a beard... and so i call him "beard man". It's funny. When we were little we had secrets. i don't remember them, but i remember not telling them. Gregg always got to do things first. He was the oldest. Oldest to Youngest. The good thing was being #2. But still he got to go to "real" school before any of us! He road a bike with 2 wheels before any of us. He flew on a plane before any of us. He weighed more at birth than any of us. He's my "cool" brother. He has tattoos. I can't imagine him without them. **Secret about Gregg**
When Gregg was in 3rd grade he would put gel in his hair and spike it straight up!

{brother #2.} Jeremiah. 22 years old.He's my little big brother. One day i woke up and he was all of a sudden not shorter than me, and so therefore not my "little" 'miah anymore. He's my smart brother. When we were little we would play 'Oregon Trail' on the computer, and he would tell me the best strategy to not loose my cattle or kids to yellow fever. When we both wanted to be Archeologist in Egypt he would read the Encyclopedia about Egypt out loud to me. Although he was younger, i forgot it all the time because he was always looking out for me. When we took German 101, 102 & 103 together at the community college, he made sure i didn't fail the tests and quizzes. One time for Christmas he bought me a framed poem that made me cry.
**Secret about Jeremiah**
Jeremiah doesn't like to eat Chicken, learned to tolerate it, but doesn't enjoy it.

{brother #3.} Joshua. 19 years old.I am pretty sure we always had a secret bond because we are both September babies! I remember when he was born he didn't look like the rest of us, but we loved him anyway. He's my brother who knows everything about animals. When he was little we thought he would grow up to be a vet or a marine biologist. He could look at those silly birthday cards with wacky animals on them and tell you, not only the name of the animal but where it was from and what it ate. Josh is my first running brother(i used to run a lot). This made me SO happy! He is SO much fun to watch run, he runs like a cheetah... long strides, with so much grace... oh and he smiles when he runs, this is totally weird to me! Josh was also my first brother to get glasses just like me! Josh is really funny. I don't even think he tries...it just happens. I like it.
**Secret about Josh**
When Josh was little he was allergic to Peanut Butter and Cinnamon. He grew out of it.

{brother #4.} Ben. 16 years old.My Benny-boo-boo. I love him. I was in the room when Benners was born. It was magical. My mom made labor look like a piece of cake!!! When he came out i was in awe. Benjamin was quickly shortened to Ben, Benny, B-E-N-benen or my favorite Benny-boo-boo. He was a cute one... so much fun to watch grow up. Ben was not always quiet... and secretly he is a wild-child... but only when he is in his comfort zone. Ben and Josh are both so funny. Ben is the only other sibling who shares my passion for photography. He has helped me shoot 3 weddings! What a guy! He can capture landscapes i dream of, but never see. Don't tell him, but i am a little jealous of his laptop & ipod touch. Ben is a servant to all. I have NEVER met a 16 year old guy who is more acutely aware of others needs!!! Some girl is going to be SO BLESSED to have him... in 30 years, when i allow him to get married!
**Secret about Ben**
When Ben was little a dog ate from his falling off diaper.

{brother #5.} J. 13 years old.J. is my surprise brother. He's #5 in birth order, and #11 in coming home to the D family! J. grew up 5 countries from a place that holds my heart. West Africa. When i was in West Africa J. was running around catching flies and keeping cool under the tree in the Village. J. has my dream hair. It never needs to be dyed dark, it just is. J. may be small for his age, but goodness gracious that guy is so strong! Sometimes we arm wrestle. J. and i have secret nicknames for each other. His is "Home Chicken". Mine is "Home Turkey." Ask me the story sometime and you will tilt your head sideways and laugh! J. loves soccer, sometime i want to see him play on a team. J. also loves music. We like to rock out in my car with the windows down. J. has something i don't; rhythm.
**Secret about J.**
J. can do the coolest finger snapping thing when he shakes your hand.

{brother #6.} Josiah. 9 years old.Oh Joe! Blond brother #2! Josiah had stitches twice before he was 2... he was a going little boy. Josiah loves ART. i am pretty sure he would be happy if art was the only subject in school. When Josiah was 5 or 6 he heard God tell him he would be an artist someday. I don't think he has stopped painting, drawing, coloring or looking at Art books everyday since. Josiah has the greatest laugh ever! One time we were on a road trip and he started CRACKING UP in his car seat; when we asked him what was so funny he replied "i made a joke in my head!" Josiah is a great listener. Even when you think he isn't paying attention, he is. He also is a thinker. He processes information at a 16 year old level.
**Secret about Josiah**
Josiah just got glasses, and doesn't like them very much.

{brother #7.} Elijah. 7 years old.E monkey. Elijah is our miracle brother. He met Jesus twice. He lived to tell about it. He has scares that tell the story of his Miracle. Elijah loves to play Uno. He especially likes it when he wins. Sometimes if he makes a good play he scruntches up his little face and laughs in his throat. It's really great. E is a runner. This summer he ran the mile in under 8 minutes! i have NEVER done that! He also smiles when he runs. weird. Elijah leaves the best messages on my voice mail. i save everyone. He has the most power to make me melt into a pile of tears (because i miss him) or laugh until i cry because he is so silly.
**Secret about Elijah**
Elijah climbed up a palm tree at age 4.

dear Jesus, thank you for my brothers. My life is richer because of each one of them. Pour out your blessings on their lives. Protect them from the enemy. Send angles to them when they are lonely and scared because even guys get scared sometimes. Open doors i'd never have dreamed possible for their lives. Keep safe and prepare the special girls who will steal my place in their hearts. Show each of my brothers the glorious things you want them to do. Set your kingdom before them as a prize to reach for. Most of all Jesus, give my 7 brothers all the things they have given me; protection. love. grace. laughter. joy.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

i take pictures...

....lots and lots of pictures.....

Check out:

Kekasmai Images

i have been shooting at least 2 shoots a weekend for a while now, so there are a lot of new photos posted for your viewing enjoyment. For more information about my work and to book YOUR next photo shoot please email me: kekasmaiimages@gmail.com

also, check out:

Elliot Worship

for a little taste of wonderful worship music and to see one of my photos on a REALLY AMAZING Band's website!!!!!

thanks for all your LOVE and SUPPORT (and comments)!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

memories.

People are often amazed and slightly weird-ed out by my memory. I can remember the CRAZIEST things... sometimes meaningful, sometimes random. It's not just the event that i remember it's the details that make up the event that make people turn their head sideways and wonder how in the World i noticed, much less remember what "so-and-so" was wearing at the event or occasion.

I was thinking about how sad it would be to lose all these crazy/amazing/wonderful memories and not be able to tell the stories in full detail... *light bulb*.... write about them on my blog and then they are recorded somewhere! Brilliant idea! So this is me... starting the first of a random series of blog post called 'memories'. They may be meaningful or just a simple memory of a far off time... but please enjoy them and pass them around... especially if they make you laugh!

memories #1. circa 1993(ish)

One of the most brilliant and vivid childhood memories i have is playing "Jesus of Nazareth" in our backyard with my siblings. I have 3 memories of repeated events in that backyard; Football with Dad, 'Jesus of Nazareth' and swimming. Those 3 things seemed to happen all the time. In my mind it's like a movie. A brilliant picture. We grew up in the Puyallup WA area and there is an Amphitheater that every Summer puts on a show, much like the stage version of the JESUS film... except sometimes slightly more dramatic! My brothers Gregg, Jeremiah & i LOVED going to see this amazing event...Mom & Dad graciously took us a few years in a row! After the "God fights the devil" scene that got a little cooky and out of hand they told us we weren't coming again. I only remember being slightly sad about this news.... I'm not sure if we had already started our favorite afternoon activity and or if it just wasn't a big deal.

We loved to dress up. We had a HUGE dress up box/bin. Hats, dresses, scarves, gloves, pants, shoes and our favorite; Mom's old "Brownies" uniforms. We never really new what "Brownies" was, but the uniforms made the BEST "bible cloths" ever!

Carissa, Lindsey and Josh were little which meant that they could play "Jesus of Nazareth" with us, but we got to pick who they were... Mostly they got the parts of the demonized child, the "dead" girl that Jesus said was only sleeping, the angry crowd who shouted "crucify him"and the leapers who he healed on the road. Jeremiah was always 'Jesus'... because when we used dad's scrap wood to build our 'cross' we only had enough to make a "small-ish" cross and Jeremiah fit best on it. Gregg was always a combination of Disciples, Pilot, Roman Solider and John the Baptist. I was any girl character we could come up with... Mary the mother of Jesus, a girl follower of Jesus, Pilot's wife...and a Roman Solider because it took 2 of us to lift the cross up against the fence.

Our backyard was 'huge' to any 8 year old and we had all the right things to pull of the most brilliant production ever. One time we discussed making posters and selling tickets to our neighbors. We had an above-ground pool that was amazing for our Baptism scenes. We built our cross. We had a swing set with a double swing thing, that we used as our boat for the disciples to go fishing in. And we had our "Brownie" uniforms for our costumes!

On this particular day of production the 3 little kids were taking a nap. Gregg, Jeremiah and I were instructed to play outside nicely. Out we went. 'Jesus of Nazareth' seemed like the logical thing to do... but since we were missing half our cast we could only practice a few scenes. The crucifixion scene needed some work. Incidentally Jeremiah wasn't dying a very convincing death. We drug the cross out from the side of the house and lay it down on its back near the fence. Jeremiah assumed the position on the cross. He put his little 6 year old feet on the small platform we had nailed to the lower part of the cross and stretched out his arms to the cross beam so we could tie him down. I'm pretty sure we used strips of fabric and ribbon to tie him there, but i remember wishing we could use "real rope". Gregg got the hammer and pretended to nail in spikes to his hands and feet. Jeremiah winced and grimaced as if in deep pain. I pretended to need to hold Jeremiah on the cross. Once we had successfully tied him down, Gregg and i would each lift a side of the cross beam and drag Jeremiah on the cross over to the hole we had dug next to the fence, so that the cross would stay standing and lean a little bit against the fence. Jeremiah would then say his line "Father why have you forsaken me?" and then he would hang his head and "die"....

well on this particular day for whatever reason, Gregg and i decided to see how long he would stay "dead" and snuck inside the rec-room to watch from behind the closed sliding glass door. Jeremiah was a champ and for sure needs a Daytime Emmy for his performance, because he stayed "dead" on that cross for quite awhile. Time and age has had it's proper affect on my life and i don't really know how long we left him there, but i'm sure it was at least 15 minutes... and for a 6 year old strapped to a cross and propped up against a fence... it must have felt like a year! Meanwhile Gregg and i got distracted in the rec-room and the next thing we know is Mom's voice breaking the silence "Gregg? Cassie? where is Jeremiah?". I am pretty sure she must have heard us in the rec-room and looked out the window....we must have responded with muffled giggles because the next thing we hear from upstairs is "Go outside and get him down off that cross!!!" Out the sliding glass door we flew, just as Jeremiah popped his head up and opened his "dead" eyes to ask "how'd i do?". We got him down and he seemed un-harmed physically or damaged emotionally.

It had been a successful rehearsal.

Friday, October 02, 2009

P.B. & J.

I have been wanting and planning on writing this post for just over 2 weeks now, however photo shoots, editing, long-lost friends and LIFE has once again limited the blog-posting.

I found a treasure! Right here in Central Oregon! It's amazing, inspiring and hidden. I can't stop telling people about it. It's called P.B.&J. Now i know you are thinking P.B. & J. normally is short for something we ate everyday of our childhood, but not so much anymore...

P= People.
B= Barn.
J= Jesus.

I know it might sound a little "cheesy" but seriously it's a treasure that i am SO glad i happened upon.

God has his way of making sure people click, read, click and read the right things. A little over a month ago i received an email inquiring about my photography business.. Jenay had found my blog via a comment i left on Katie's blog. Now mind you although i read every new post Katie writes i rarely leave a comment. That time i did.

A few weeks and emails later i was on my way out to Powell Butte to take some Senior Photos for Lashae and then also a few family photos. As i drove out there i couldn't help but laugh at the fact that i got the job because of a comment i left on the blog of a girl who lives in Uganda!!! Crazy! The Brewer Family were all rock stars! We had such a great time taking pics enjoying the incredible Sunday afternoon Weather!

After wards i went back to their house and they invited me to stay for P.B. & J.

The treasure had been found.

People from the Powell Butte area started showing up with food, drinks and the some of most welcoming hearts i have EVER met in my life!!! After we all ate dinner and chatted about this and that some of the dad's put together a game of kickball. Some of the mom's watched, some stayed inside and drank coffee, did the dishes and chatted about this and that. After a little while all the "kids" gathered up in the Barn for "Bible study" time. The basis of P.B.&J was explained to me like this;

"We want to mimic the early church in P.B.&J. So we ate some food, we fellowship-ed, and now we are going to study the life and teachings of Jesus."

I sat in that barn, and for the next hour was in awe of this little group of about 20 young people who want to change the World for Christ! They got in the Word, talked about it, thought about it, discussed it and prayed for each others needs! I was totally blown away.

Powell Butte is normally referred to as a Community not a Town. There is a Post Office. A country store. A Church. A Cemetery. and a whole bunch of ranches and farms! It's lovely really. When people in Central Oregon hear about/talk about Powell Butte they most likely have never heard of P.B.&J. and they most likely do not talk about the young people who are believing for HUGE World change starting in their community.

20 people focused on Jesus. Loving their community. Praying with/for each other. In a place where if you blink you miss it? Yes Please. This is a treasure for sure.

i am more blessed than a leprechaun at the end of a rainbow to have found it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

good question.



"Sometimes i would like to ask God why he allows so much
poverty, famine and injustice in the World
when he could do something about it...
but i am afraid he might ask me the same question."
-Anonymous

Sunday, September 27, 2009

perspective.

laughing.
looking.
seeing.

shoulders brush against people walking by.
the park is packed.
i wonder what they see from where they cannot hear my heart.

blank stares.
smiling.
singing.

"thank you."
window seat.
pondering the long ride ahead.
full flight of people going places.

rush of excitement as the plane starts for take-off.
soon the cars look like mini-match box cars.
people smaller than Lego men.

sigh.
listening to the emergency exit routine with one ear.
the swimming pools look like bright turquoise spots of paint.
the houses seem closer together from up here.

comfortable.
looking.
watching.

the houses turn to fields.
a patchwork quilt of greens and yellows stretch out below.
mountains invade the quilt with the night.
dark blue peaks with speckles of snow.

sleep sounds nice, but excitement for what's ahead take over the thoughts.
clouds appear as silk flowing by.
it seems as though i could reach out and touch the stars.

humming.
crying.
snoring.

chaos seems far from here.
i know the collision of reality and this view is only so far away.
the stares and snickers can only be silenced for so long.
the rumors and assumptions can only be silenced in my head.

chin lifting.
Spirit rising.
going higher.

my thought can only be consumed by choice.
sugar. candy. cake. love
love. hearts. invitations. fun.
fun. color. laughing. tickling.
tickling. papa. screaming. laughing.
laughing. child. color. money. sugar.

you hold me now.
peace floods in.
no darkness.
just light.

hope.
is.
rising.

no matter 'their' thoughts.
no matter 'their' looks.
no matter 'their' assumptions.

my decision to 'fly' is not based on that.
lizards who scamper away at my silly stories are not phased by 'their' impression of the situation.
only i can choose to let the smile fade and hope sink.

turbulence disturbs the moment.
but only for a moment.

peace settles in.
city lights twinkle.
seat belts on.
the ride is nearly over.
the journey has just begun.

hope. is. rising.
with every thought my spirits sore.
with every smile my heart dances.
with every sip of clean water my nervousness fades.

chaos is still around.
chin lifting.
spirit rising.
going higher.

because i know.
He is enough.

Friday, September 25, 2009

enough.

Jesus is enough for me.

that's all really.

no sleep? Jesus is enough.

full range of emotions? Jesus is enough.

schedule changes that mess me up? Jesus is enough.

blessings that overwhelm my "normal" life? Jesus is enough.

my dad's job change that makes me miss being around my family? Jesus is enough.

family crisis that sent our summer spinning? Jesus is enough.

900 un-answered questions? Jesus is enough

messy people = messy lives = real relationships? Jesus is enough.

thanks Jesus for being enough for me.

more than enough.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

little piece of wonderful.

Tucked away in one of my favorite books is this little phrase...

"Don't be afraid," he said, "for you are deeply loved by God.
Be at peace; take heart, and be strong."
Daniel 10:19


...and goodness did it encourage me when i read it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

3:26pm

April 24th, 965BC 3:26pm; David built an altar there to the Lord and sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings. And the Lord answered his prayer for the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.(2 Sam. 24:25)And then King David sat down for a late lunch. It was a good day for the King of Judah. He had taken a walk in the sunrise and laughed with his son Solomon as he told him about the old times in Bethlehem. After lunch he plans to play the harp for a while before a feast with his daughters later in the evening.

December 25, 1995; Jennifer Aniston was listed
"People Weekly"s "Most Intriguing People".... After which she celebrated with the cast of 'Friends' and drank a glass of champagne at midnight. It had been a wonderful Christmas surprise and something she would remember forever.

February 27. 2007;
Britney Spears has entered rehab, the singer's manager Larry Rudolph, confirms to PEOPLE. Upon entering rehab Britney sat by herself and wondered how her life had turned into such a mess. She determined in her heart to make it right, at least for the sake of her kids. She made up her mind that she would rise again and be the "Princess of Pop" music once again.... although she wasn't certain she could ever overcome all the black spots on her now tainted reputation.

September 16, 2009 3:26pm; Cassie Diacogiannis sat down to write a blog about assumptions.

**Please note that the above statements in ITALICS are my own thoughts and assumptions on each story. Statements in BOLD are facts.**

It's really easy to look at King David and say, "yeah, He's the man after God's own heart." or "He messed up big time, but must have done something right because look at what God did through him." However without seeing the day to day of his life we can't really know what it was that made him that man, we get glimpses of the hard times, difficulties and pain of his life. We get only glimpses of the Joy, Fun and good times i'm sure he had.

Jennifer Aniston has graced the cover of PEOPLE magazine and US weekly more times than most celebrities. She is one of the wealthiest people alive and one of the highest paid actresses EVER! US weekly and PEOPLE cannot possibly be there every moment of Jen's life. Yet many times i have based my view of her based solely on what i saw on the cover of the Tabloids at Safeway's check stand. "poor Jen. Brad's a jerk. " or "look at Jen's great new hair." or "really? Jen's dating John Meyer.... again?" or even, "man, life as Jennifer Aniston must be pretty great." No matter how hard TMZ tries to be in her backyard or trunk of her car, they don't have Jens' life nailed down or penned out perfectly. No matter how many time VOGE interview's her and i read it, i will never know her life. I will never understand what makes Jen "Jen".

Britney Spears. "Oops she did it again" became so much more than a lyric from her song. It became the tagline after her name when her life started spiraling out of control in front of our eyes on E!'s THS special. But now. 2009, look at her, she has a tour, a rocking body, a new hit, and 2 precious boys that love her. She has arrived. The attitude seems to be "who cares what happened in the last 2 years she figured it out and NOW, now she's ok." I'd like to pose the thought that deep down inside Britney is still a 16 year old girl wondering how her life got to out of control.

Me! I 'just' live, eat and breath in Bend Oregon. Every once in a while i will write a blog that makes sense, sometime i let my emotions get the best of me and that spills out too. I roll out of bed everyday at the same time (6:29am) i head off to the same "normal" job, and come home to the same editing program. Wednesday nights are spent at 180. My life is pretty "normal". If you look at my life through the lens of this blog, you would most likely see a girl with a camera, who sometimes writes deep things, and she seems to wear herself on her sleeve. She doesn't seem to be afraid to tell us if she laughed or cried or what she didn't eat for breakfast. If you look at my day to day life it might not seem all that exciting.

I don't wake up to a fancy steam room and hair dresser to get me ready for the day. I don't drive the coolest car. I don't live on the top of a hill with a view. I also don't feed 300 starving kids a week in one of the poorest parts of the World. I don't wear Chacos and hope to avoid a snake bite. I don't catch a Rickshaw to go to the market. I don't preach to thousands of souls caught in bondage.

Just because i serve in 180 does not denote more blessing on my life. Just because i've never been drunk or driven drunk does not guarantee me God's protection in my car. I believe un-saved people are saved by the hand of God without being "in a place" to receive that blessing. I believe un-saved people have experienced the presence of Jesus while "walking in sin".

My life is blessed not because i am a Pastor's kid or because i live a "normal" life. My life is not blessed because i have found a way to position myself for an out pouring of riches. My life is blessed because i choose to surrender what i have to the will of God. I choose to walk in obedience to his Word, and strive to please him. I can't quantify God's blessing; i can't create an equation that states how to come into that blessing. I can't position my self on the right church bench to receive that blessing. I can walk in obedience to the Holy Spirit. I can trust who God says he is and believe that in trusting and walking in faith i will experience his blessing.

I don't look at my life and wish things were different. Recently i wrote a post about things i want. It seems that only 2 things stood out to people who read it; the fact that i am not married. and the fact that i am not on the mission field. This was a sad realization that my life is seen as missing something. YES, these are 2 great desires of my heart, but please do not think that one desire hinges on the other!! Please do not think that my life is not FULL, wonderful, AMAZING, BLESSED, fantastic because i am 24 and those things are not in place.

I will GO when God releases me to GO.

I will get married when the timing is unlocked and the timing of God collides with the time line we live in.

In the meantime, i will continue to post pictures, stories, verses and silliness for you to enjoy or ponder. I will continue to wake up too early and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the job i have. I will continue to see this generation RISE UP in 180 and central Oregon. I will continue to fight my battle with worry and anxiousness about my life. I will continue to EXPERIENCE Jesus ALIVE in my life. I will continue to walk BLESSED and COVERED in God's love.

I refuse to think "lucy" doesn't like me because she hasn't txted me this week. Perhaps she is on a mountain or dropped her phone in coffee. I don't base my assumption of Taylor's love for Jesse on how she made dinner for him the other day. I trust that she knows him and therefore loves him... even though i don't see the ins and outs of that love. It's wrong of me to assume someone's life is marked by what is on their blog alone. I can't judge someone's character based on their Facebook status. I refuse to assume that King David, Jen & Britney's life can be summed up in the words we read about them. I choose to believe in the day to day, moments unseen by camera or scribe there is/was the life of someone who has a real heart, real needs and real thoughts.

The best way to judge someone's life is to live with them, listen to their life story (in full) or ask those who know or see those to things. Let's not base assumptions of people's life based on snip -ts we get here and there. Let's not look at a life marked by "hardship" as less of a blessing or less blessed than a life "marked" by joy. Every life has trails and joys, it's how you let them define you in that season that will shape you for the rest of your life.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

what do you want?

What do you want?

I don't like that question. It's a lot easier to answer "what do you need?" than "what do you want?" I used to want a horse. I used to want a Jetta. I used to want I "normal" life. I used to want to be an actress. I sometimes to want a tattoo. I sometimes want to sleep longer. I sometimes want short hair.

Luke 18:40-42
"When Jesus heard him, he stopped and ordered that the man be brought to him.
As the man came near,
Jesus asked him, What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord,” he said, “I want to see!”
And Jesus said, “All right, receive your sight!
Your faith has healed you.”"

I would like to suggest that the man had been blind for a while, and got along alright for a blind guy. He didn't "need" to see. He wanted to see.

What do you want?

A good friend challenged me the other day to write out a list of the 10 things i want out of life. After making the list the friend told me to prioritize the list, order it by importance and write out a "goal" of when i wanted to accomplish the things that were able to put on a tangible time line.

Tomorrow is my birthday.

This is what i want (in no particular order):

- I want to stop worrying about my life. I don't want to worry about what i should wear, who i should txt first, when my bank account will be full enough to empty on my dream camera. I don't want to worry about what i will eat or who i will talk to. I am done with worry.

- I want to be faithful with what i am given. I don't want to waste my time, treasures or talent. I don't want to spend wastefully. I want to be faithful, always faithful. no matter what, faithful.

- I want to preach the Word. I want to preach God's heart for his kids. I want to preach the gospel to the lost. I want to preach to 1 or 1, 000. I want my words to be a sound of hope. I want my words to be His Word. I want to preach.

- I want to hold on to the hope He has given me and called me to. I want to see my life from his perspective and base my hope on that. I don't want to be discouraged by my situations i want to HOLD ON TO HOPE in JESUS.

- I want to go to "my" 18 countries. Yes, there are 18 countries i hope to visit before i die. included, but not limited to: India, China, Thailand, Iraq, Uganda, Botswana, Argentina...

- I want to get married. Yup, i just put that out there. I'm the girl who's favorite thing to do when she was little was to play "house" and be the mom/wife. I'm the girl who started thinking about her wedding when she was 11. I'm the girl who believed in Prince Charming. And i'm still that girl. I still want to be swept off my feet by a God-fearing, Horse riding, Music playing, Bad-guy fighting, girl saving, Honest, Passionate Prince charming.

- I want to adopt an orphan... or 3. I want to love the forgotten. I want to pray for a destiny that seems bleak. I want to rescue the homeless and helpless children in the World.

- I want to live overseas. I want to be a missionary. I want to eat goat brains, fish eyeballs and frog's feet. I want to smell the smells. I want to see the sights. I want to live in Chacos and messy hair. I want to see lives changed. I want to embrace different cultures. I want to come back with stories that will blow your mind.

- I want to have to be a mom. I want to get the belly, feel the pain and cry the tears. Remember; i played house and and 50 baby dolls with names and voices. Sometimes people think because i am the oldest girl in a big family perhaps i am "over" it. Not so much people. I want to be a mom.

- I want to see this generation rise up. I want to see the students in 180 leading my kids. I want to see them change their schools. I want to see them love the un-lovable. I want to see them worship face down. I want to hear them pray. I want to see the JoY of their answered prayer. I want to see them KNOW GOD and take Him at His word. I want them to carry the banner of Christ well. I want them to be passionate, on fire people of purpose.

I want honesty. I want to be authentic. I want to live real life with people. I want to stop faking it. I want more to a conversation than inside jokes and sarcasm. I want good times. I want music that doesn't hurt my head. I want red boots. I want black flats. I want a new camera. I want to pay off my car. I want to dance the salsa. I want to go to a Superbowl game. I want to eat tacos in Mexico. I want to drive with the windows down while it rains inside. I want to have a gym membership. I want to get in a tickle fight with my dad. I want to race my little siblings across the yard. I want to cry at the sad parts and laugh at the silly ones. I want to take jumping pictures in front of the Eiffel Tower. I want to capture the Joy of Love, the Pain of War and the big-ness of the World through a lens.

I want faith that rises above the surface of my situation and see's past the un-answered questions.

I want faith that heals a blind man.

This is what i want.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

inspired ramblings.

i have been wanting to write this post for about 2 weeks.
it's my 200th post. not too extravagant, but monumental just the same.
the problem has been i have not felt inspired.
i don't want to write sweet nothings about my toes and how i got bit by a spider.

so i've waited, and thought, and tried to force inspiration, and thought some more, and waited some more, until today i couldn't stand it any longer. the writing must happen weather i feel inspired or not. so here i sit. sunday, august 30th 2009.... figuring out how to write without inspiration.

please trust Jesus is in me. please. recently due to a lot of ups and downs and craziness that life is, i feel like i have to ask this a lot. please trust that i pray and wait on the Lord and that i don't make crazy decisions based on emotions.

let's love our neighbors. this weekend at church the message was about loving our neighbors. how can we ask God to send us to Africa, India or Thailand if we can't even love our brothers and sisters in Christ in the USA? i need to figure this one out, because honestly, some people drive me crazy and make me want to run away to a far of land... they are probably my neighbor who i should love better.

11 million children starve to death or die each year from preventable or treatable illness. 8.5 million children work as child slaves, prostitutes or in horrific conditions. i have a dream to rescue kiddos in India and Africa from such lives. someday i will.

"What's your name?" "Giselle." "Oh, Giselle!!! We shall be married in the morning!" this is a silly quote from a silly movie, but this week it made me laugh and believe in fairy tales... You know, the stories where the guy on the white horse sweeps in at the perfect moment and rescues the pretty girl from the dragon, witch or lonely sleeping. Yeah, i believe in that stuff. Perhaps not the dragon or witch part... but i don't believe i have to be the girl who dresses scandalous and throws herself out there to get the guy... because never has there been a fairytale in which the pretty girl comes to the rescue of the prince and sweeps him off his feet with her good looks and forward ways. that would be just down right crazy! So i choose to believe in the fairytale where i wait, dream and get ready because at the right moment the hot guy i believe for, will show up in Bend Oregon. perhaps not on a white horse, but it will be rad, and i will make sure to blog about it.

i take pictures. and then i spend hours and hours editing pictures. it's a joy, really it is. my secret prayer this summer has been something like this, "dear Jesus, thank you for the creative eye you gave me, but technology is moving forward faster than my eyes, so would you please let someone decide they want to invest 10,000 dollars into my small business with no guaranteed return other than free portraits for life. amen." yup, you read it right. i pray for a large sum of money to be able to do something i love better. selfish? perhaps. practical? maybe. honest? you betcha. I LOVE LOVE LOVE taking pics and editing them, but the fact that there is a better way to do it is annoying, especially when it take a lot of money to do it that way. so in the mean time, while i wait for that wonderful investor, i plug away with my "old school" camera and editing system to the sounds of Micheal Buble and LOVE every minute of it!

camp was off the hook. pictures to come, i promise. Twin Rocks. Beach. Cabins. Games. Wonderful people. Worship. The Word. Jesus. Amazing. There are few words to describe accurately what God did in the 100 people from central oregon that week at the beach. i do know that i have never seen 87 young people more hungry for the presence of God like i did that week. i also have never seen 87 young people take over a worship set like they did the first night of camp. i had never been in a service for over 4 hours and seen so many people ready to worship for another 2 hours. it was amazing.

i don't have much more to say, so i'll steal some words from a new favorite song to end this randomly inspired post:

Cause I don’t need to see it to believe it
I don’t need to see it to believe it
Cause I can’t shake this fire burning
Deep inside my heart

This life is Yours and hope is rising
As Your glory floods our hearts
Let love tear down these walls
That all creation would
Come back to You
It’s all for You

Your Name is glorious Glorious
Your love is changing us Calling us
To worship in spirit and in truth
As all creation returns to You

Monday, August 24, 2009